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The History of the Irises and the Trillium


Irises from my family

When my parents announced their plans to sell their house and move into a condo, I knew there were a few plants I wanted from their gardens – the family irises and the red trillium. Last July, after the irises finished blooming, my parents dug them up and brought them to my house where they were installed in pride of place. These are very special irises – when my parents got married and moved to Ontario, my grandmother dug up some of her irises to send along.

A young Puff in the garden sniffing irises

Growing up, these were planted along one end of the garden where they spread every year. When we moved to Waterloo in the late 70s, the iris made the trip as well. There they stayed until last year when they got a new home.

Yellow iris
Originally, when the tubers were moved from Pennsylvania, there were five varieties of irises. Over the intervening years, some of these varieties have disappeared until we’re left with yellow and purple. The photos here just show the first blooms, the show gets better every day.

The other flower I really wanted was the red trillium that bloomed in my parent’s back year for many years. I never remember more than a single red one among all the whites but every year it just made me smile. I was so happy when my Dad was able to dig out the red one and several white ones for transplanting and I was so eager this spring to see the result. So imagine my surprise when I was rewarded with this:

Beautiful red and white trilliums

The trilliums obviously appreciated the transplanting. There were more than 20 red trillium blossoms in that clump. This plant came originally moved from my aunt’s house to my parent’s and, over the years, only ever produced single blossoms. I’m eager to see how the plants spread and fill in under the trees.

posted under garden

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